Neels Gap, GA, March 12, 2015 — Double speak lives. Winter is summer! The daily highs have been in the 70s. Even the gnats are out – bastards.
Don’t get used to this hikers. Winter will find you. Promise.
The second and third days in Georgia are difficult for many people. The climbs are steep and frequent, although relatively short. They take their toll. On average one-third drop out at Neels Gap, the 30-mile mark.
The weather seems to be dampening the attrition rate some, in spite of the infamous Blood Mountain. Today it’s pouring buckets. Wondering what difference that’s going to make…
This year’s early crowd is very social. Folks gather round the picnic tables at the shelters. Note the electric devices. Not sure they enhance the experience, but then again, I’m a traditionalist.
Not everyone camps at shelters. Lance Creek borders an area south of Blood Mountain, a section where bears are extra active and bear canisters are required for food storage if you camp overnight. Most don’t schlepp bear cans so they camp here.
Special surprise trail magic. Ran into Clare Arentzen at Neels Gap. She was our ridgerunner in Pennsylvania last season. Clare is a very special person who starts her thru hike next week. Go Clare!!!